Through the Looking Glass: Transitional Justice Futures through the Lens of Nationalism, Feminism and Transformative Change

Kristian Brown, Fionnuala Ni Aolain

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19 Citations (Scopus)


In reflecting on the contemporary challenges and future directions of transitional justice theory and practice, this article addresses causality, accountability and political form in a triangulated assessment of nationalism’s power and ‘stickiness’ in the present formulations of transitional solutions. Addressing the identity politics of transitional justice brings us to assess the political forms that enable, define and consume transition with a particular hew to power-sharing and consociationalism-type arrangements in the aftermath of systematic atrocity. The authors provide a pragmatic, perhaps cynical account of the triumph of consociationalism as the preferred transitional accommodation, and point to the ‘dark side’ of governance arrangements in postconflict settings with implications for understanding cycles of violence and repeat conflict patterns. In both contexts, we deploy a feminist lens to understand the implications for women and gender transformation emerging from our framing of the politics of transitional justice in the contemporary moment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-149
JournalInternational Journal of Transitional Justice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015



  • nationalism
  • feminism
  • consociationalism
  • power sharing
  • memory
  • identity

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